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Blockchain ‘will change the way the industry works’ say IBS survey respondents, yet many remain skeptical


Survey respondents were mostly positive about blockchain’s future

Blockchain will change the way the financial industry works, according to respondents to an IBS survey conducted throughout October.

Asked whether they believed blockchain or distributed ledger technology would have a major impact, six in ten replied that it would drastically change the industry landscape. A further 26%, one in five, said that it would have an impact, but that the impact would not be earth-shattering.

12% of those asked gave more negative responses with half of that number saying that blockchain is just a passing fad, the other that it will have no impact whatsoever on the industry.

Block to the Future

As for when the new technology would begin to hit the mainstream, just over half responded that they expected it to do so in the next five years. 19% of those asked opted for a longer timeline, marking the years between 2020 and 2025 as when the technology will be widespread.

Just over one in five of respondents, however, replied that they believed the technology will never hit the mainstream proper.

When asked what they would think if their company or bank started using blockchain, the responses were mixed. One comment read: ‘blockchain would be encouraging when it comes to security. I don’t see how it could have any use outside of it though.’

‘Invest in bitcoin,’ wrote another. ‘Keynesian economics is destroying the world of currency. Bitcoin is going to get better and better over the next 2-5 years while [regular currency] gets worse, and collapses.’

‘Chicken little’

One respondent wrote that disruptors and blockchain evangelists are premature in their enthusiasm.

‘The internet, mobile phone operators and a serious banking crash have all failed to “revolutionise” banking,’ they wrote. ‘The premise that blockchain will do is fanciful.

‘It’s also annoying to see all these “chicken little” industry pundits crying “the sky is falling”! If it solves a problem it will be used. Sadly they don’t know banking well enough to know if it solves a problem.’

The results show that though blockchain has its vocal supporters, and that a number of people believe the technology will impact the industry in the years to come, it still has some vocal detractors.

By Alex Hamilton

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